The Dell Latitude E5510 is a 15in laptop aimed at business users. But does the Dell Latitude E5510 justify its high price? Read our Dell Latitude E5510 review to find out.

At first glance the Dell Latitude E5510 laptop PC looks a little pricey.

The configuration we tested - which includes 3GB of RAM (2.75GB usable by the 32-bit Windows 7), a 320GB hard drive, integrated graphics, and a crisp 1600-by-900 display - sells for £919 inc VAT - and that includes a £90 discount from Dell. But you can pick up the base model, with smaller hard drive, less memory and a 1366x768 display, for only £739 inc VAT.

While even that seems a bit much compared with similarly equipped consumer laptops, the Dell Latitude E5510 offers a number of perks useful in a business environment. Customers buying  add-ons can have units customized with specific business applications - even in-house apps can be preinstalled (or images supplied). Every Latitude is built on a common accessory base, so the same docking stations and other accessories can be used, whether you have an E5410, E5510 or 65xx series unit.

The Dell Latitude E5510 we tested had an upgraded display - a matte screen LCD (which we prefer to glossy screens) with a native resolution of 1600-by-900 pixels. Colours were crisp, though slightly muted, and standard business apps looked sharp. While you can run games on the Latitude, the performance of Intel's integrated graphics chip is still anaemic. The chip here runs better than past Intel graphics, but it remains too limited for current-generation gaming titles.

Video was a little more problematic. High-def video in the form of WMV-HD clips looked good, but most of our clips are pretty sedate. When we popped in the Serenity DVD to the Dell Latitude E5510, we noticed that dark scenes were muddy, and that action scenes had visible motion artifacting. While not severe, these shortcomings did detract from our overall impression of the display.

Performance is about average for this class of unit, posting a WorldBench score of 107. Our review system Dell Latitude E5510 shipped with the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Professional. Oddly, the unit also had 3GB of RAM, but Dell's website offers 2GB and 4GB as options. We'd recommend going with a 64-bit version of Windows 7 for a system with 4GB of RAM.

Expansion is mostly through USB 2.0 ports; the Dell Latitude E5510 houses four ports, two on each side. Also present is a standard nine-pin RS-232 serial port, a useful addition for businesses still dependent on serial-equipped peripherals. However, the E5510 does not have eSATA ports, support for USB 3.0, or even a digital video output. The only provision for connecting to an external display is a lone VGA connector. Dell's docking stations do offer DVI output if you need digital display support.

Networking is quite good, with 802.11n speeds on a par with those of similar systems. We did run into one odd issue: the Dell Latitude E5510 couldn't connect to any other PC on the network, including the server. As it turned out, the issue wasn't the Dell hardware, or Windows 7. The trial version of Trend Micro's security software had installed its own NDIS filter driver for network connections. Uninstalling this driver enabled normal network connectivity.

See also: Group test: what's the best laptop?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Dell Latitude E5510: Specs

  • Intel Core i3 350M (Dual Core 2.26GHz, 3M cache, 35W)
  • English Genuine Windows 7 Professional, 32bit
  • Microsoft Office Starter 2010
  • Camera and Microphone
  • 15.6in HD+ Wide View Anti-Glare LED Display (1600x900)
  • Latitude E5510 with PCMCIA
  • 3GB(1x1GB + 1x2GB)1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
  • 320GB Serial ATA (7200RPM)
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Drive with Decoder Software
  • EMEA Intel Pro Wireless 6200 (802.11 a/g/Draft-n 2X2) Mini Card
  • Internal Dell 375 Bluetooth Mini Card
  • 4 Cell 37WHr LI-ION Primary Battery
  • Internal UK/Irish Qwerty Single Pointing Keyboard
  • UK/IR Power Cord with 90W AC Adaptor 3 pin
  • 4x USB 2.0
  • Intel Core i3 350M (Dual Core 2.26GHz, 3M cache, 35W)
  • English Genuine Windows 7 Professional, 32bit
  • Microsoft Office Starter 2010
  • Camera and Microphone
  • 15.6in HD+ Wide View Anti-Glare LED Display (1600x900)
  • Latitude E5510 with PCMCIA
  • 3GB(1x1GB + 1x2GB)1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
  • 320GB Serial ATA (7200RPM)
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Drive with Decoder Software
  • EMEA Intel Pro Wireless 6200 (802.11 a/g/Draft-n 2X2) Mini Card
  • Internal Dell 375 Bluetooth Mini Card
  • 4 Cell 37WHr LI-ION Primary Battery
  • Internal UK/Irish Qwerty Single Pointing Keyboard
  • UK/IR Power Cord with 90W AC Adaptor 3 pin
  • 4x USB 2.0

OUR VERDICT

Overall, the Dell Latitude E5510 epitomises the "get the job done" orientation of business laptops. While pricey, the actual value isn't in a single notebook, but in multi-unit custom configurability, easy system management, and simple interchange of peripherals. If you're looking for a solid, unassuming laptop for a small or medium-sized business, the E5510 deserves consideration.

Find the best price